It is your responsibility to ensure that you have complied with your obligations under the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 (PBR Act) and met all conditions that apply to an expense which you claim. Where you make a claim and it is subsequently found that you did not comply with the PBR obligations or you contravened condition(s), you will be required to repay the claim and, if more than 28 days have transpired, you will be required to pay a penalty loading equal to 25% of the claim.
Optional pre-claim assessment
MaPS can provide advice on proposed non-travel related claims under the PBR Act to ensure you meet your obligations. Simply provide the following information to the MaPS Help Desk:
- a description of the proposed claim (e.g. newsletter, poster, audio poster, personalised letterhead stationery, website, equipment, service, satellite office expense etc.)
- a link to the proposed resource (if available)
- if the proposed claim relates to a printed item, electronic material or an audio poster – a sample, printer’s proof or final print-ready copy, transcription of any audio, and if the item is not in English, an English translation
- an explanation of which parliamentary business activity (see related resources for checklist) the claim relates to and how the claim represents value for money (including high-level details of any value for money process undertaken)
- a contact should MaPS have any queries.
Following receipt of this information, MaPS will advise you in writing whether the expenses may be claimed. Should the resource/s be assessed as outside the parameters of a claimable expense, any cost associated with the resource is your personal responsibility. MaPS aims to carry out pre-claim assessments within two business days of receipt of all required information.
If your proposed claim alters between the pre-claim assessment and claiming the expense, advice provided by MaPS as part of the pre-claim assessment process is no longer relevant and cannot be relied upon to support the claim.
Making a PBR claim
Claims may be for:
- reimbursement of expenses already paid by you, or direct payment to a supplier for goods or services you have received, for example payment of costs for printing or a privately leased satellite office
- expenses that have been incurred by you and paid directly under the Commonwealth’s contractual arrangements with the goods or services provider; for example: office stationery and supplies ordered from the preferred service provider.
Claims, other than those from Commonwealth-contracted suppliers, must be submitted to MaPS through PEMS or by completing the relevant form.
Claims should be submitted with:
- a tax invoice setting out the supplier, each item, quantity, date of purchase and cost (including GST component) - all pages must be submitted and statements will not be accepted in lieu of an invoice
- if you are claiming a reimbursement – proof of payment
- if the claim relates to a printed item, electronic material or an audio poster – a sample, printer’s proof or final print-ready copy, transcription of any audio, and if the item is not in English, an English translation
- if the claim relates to website development, design or upgrade – the URL of the website (quote in Form 141)
- if a claimed item was previously assessed under the pre-claim assessment process - the MaPS reference number (quote in Form 141)
- date of delivery.
Tax invoices must meet the requirements as per guidance issued by the Australian Taxation Office.
A separate certification signed by you is required for each invoice submitted.
MaPS generally conducts an assessment of communications material once it is claimed. This is in addition to any optional pre-claim assessment process.
Timing of claim
With the exception of website hosting and subscriptions for publications and media monitoring services, no prepayments or progressive payments may be claimed as MaPS must be satisfied that the resources (whether goods or services) have been delivered in full prior to payment. In addition, you should be aware that if you cease to be a parliamentarian during the course of a pre-paid subscription or website hosting which you have claimed, you may be required to repay the cost of the claim that exceeds the length of your parliamentary term as well as any corresponding penalty loading. The 25 per cent penalty loading applies where more than 28 days have elapsed since the original claim date. MaPS has no discretion to waive the penalty loading.
Claims should be submitted promptly to ensure:
- timely and accurate processing of payments and reporting
- providers are paid for their services, before the invoice is overdue
- late fees and penalties are not incurred.
Where a claim is made against your office budget, the budget is debited based on the date the goods or services are received not the date an order is placed/invoiced or a claim is submitted.
Always keep accurate records of your expenses and evidence to support claims. This will help with any future auditing requirements.
Provision of further information
MaPS may require further information about your claim. In this case, you should provide the information to MaPS within a reasonable period. Claims will not be processed until MaPS has received all relevant information relating to a claim.